It is drawing with colors. I found with my set of thirty-six pencils plenty of color options and no need to mix colors. The final mandala looked soft and light before I added the water. Using a small brush, I basically painted over each color individually, allowing a little bleeding and mixing of the colors.
This was totally different!
When I paint with watercolors, I look for the happy accidents that occur through the bleeding of colors. I wonder with more experience using watercolor pencils if my approach will change???
The portability of this medium and easy set up makes it ideal for travel. I plan to create more mandalas on my next trip to Mexico at the end of March. Until then, I am heading back to the studio to paint with watercolors.